Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Preview: "Wong Wai Kay-Pedia" (a book written by HKTV's scriptwriters)

Those who’ve been watching HKTV series and ‘following’ news about them will probably recognize the logo in the above picture….yep, that’s HKTV’s logo alright!  But instead of the Chinese characters for “HKTV” (香港電視), the characters in the conversation bubble logo read 王維基百科 (“Wong Wai Kay-Pedia” which is obviously a play on Wikipedia).

Not sure how many people knew this, but yes, in the short time that HKTV has been in existence, there is already a book written about the station and its founder Ricky Wong.  The book actually came out last year (published in July 2014, right in time for the annual HK Book Fair).  I already knew of the book's existence back then because I saw the HKTV promos for it in the news, but unfortunately I was never able to find it on the usual websites where I normally buy all my Chinese books.  Well, on my recent trip to HK, I found the book in one of the bookstores (as I knew I would) so I of course bought it and am finally starting to read it right now. 

Just as a means of summary – the book is a collaborative effort by 12 of HKTV’s scriptwriters and recounts their experiences working for HKTV and Ricky Wong for the 2 year time span from when HKTV officially “started” in 2012 up to the book’s publication in 2014.  There are 14 chapters to the book, with each chapter further divided up into individually titled sections (each section is only 2 to 3 pages with quite a bit of spacing between each sentence, so pretty easy read from a format point of view).  Also, staying true to HKTV’s insistence on ‘Hong Kong flavor’, the book is actually ‘written’ in Cantonese (meaning that non-Hong Kongers who are used to reading traditional written Chinese might struggle a little bit with some of the odd-looking characters that are unique to Cantonese) – but shouldn’t be too much of a problem, since majority of the characters are similar enough to figure out the meaning even without knowing the Cantonese characters.

In terms of content….just glancing through the titles of each chapter and sub-section already piqued my interest in some of the content covered in the book – there’s some ‘history’ in there (i.e. how CTI became HKTV), tidbits about the production process and various HKTV series, funny moments / stories / anecdotes, etc….there’s even coverage of the licensing decision (both the free-to-air license decision and the subsequent issue with the mobile license) as well as the HKTV protest that occurred after the license rejection (we get to hear from inside HKTV how everyone felt when the decision came down).  It’s almost like a ‘recap’ of what HKTV and its staff has gone through these past couple years.  There’s also a ‘Forward’ written by Ricky Wong (his is separated into 2 parts – before he read the book and after he read it) as well as writer / columnist / radio broadcaster Chip Tsao (陶傑).

I’m definitely looking forward to reading the book!  Of course, I’ll share my thoughts on the book once I’m done with it so those who are interested please keep an eye out for subsequent blog posts. 

More to come, so stay tuned!  :-)


  1. The book sounds interesting. Would like to know what interesting things found from reading it! Recent Apple Daily clip was quite depressing, even though they were just reiterating what we already knew, that their original series will finish airing in September with no plans from Ricky Wong to resume filming. I really hope HKTV won't just become a memory.

    1. @sport:  I’m only halfway through the book, but already there are quite a few interesting things I found – things that the media/gossip rags mis-stated and Ricky Wong didn’t bother to clarify (or he did clarify but no one believed him).   I personally prefer to read the personal experiences from people inside HKTV (who actually worked there during the time when all this stuff was happening) rather than some biased account from the media (I still don’t understand why some audiences choose to put all their faith in media folks who base much of their information on hearsay rather than believe the direct accounts coming from those who actually experienced it).  Anyway, once I’m done reading, I’ll definitely post up some highlights.

      And yes, I read that news about HKTV and even though it pretty much said what we already knew, the fact that Ricky Wong himself is now giving up too (based on his recent comments at an event) means that HKTV is definitely doomed.  In the 3 to 4 years since this whole licensing fiasco has been going on, not once has Ricky Wong shown signs of giving up, even during the darkest times when it seemed he had hit rock bottom, he always found a way to rebound – but now, looks like he’s gotten to the point where even he finally realizes this is a lost cause and he’s no longer going to waste his time and money.   To me, that’s the most depressing part about this whole thing…